The countdown to July’s Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup is well and truly on following the completion of the official competition draw at World Cup venue Medway Park earlier today (Tuesday April 23).
The formal draw was made by Councilor Howard Doe, Medway Council cabinet member for community services and chief executive Neil Davies and will see reigning champions England clash with pre-tournament favorites France on the opening day of competition on Wednesday July 3.
Tickets for the group stage matches, the semi-finals and the hotly anticipated final have also gone on sale with immediate effect.
Speaking at the draw, Councilor Howard Doe said: “We are delighted that Medway has been chosen to host the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup. It is a reflection of our growing reputation as an international sporting venue, and I hope the people of Medway will embrace the opportunity to watch these elite athletes in action.”
David Butler of the Rugby Football League added: “We are very excited to be staging the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup at Medway Park. “The facilities for both spectators and the athletes themselves are superb and we are pleased that the area has embraced the competition and that local service providers will also benefit from event.
The World Cup is the biggest event in the sport’s calendar and takes place at Medway Park, Gillingham, from Wednesday July 3 to Saturday July 13 and forms part of the Festival of World Cups being staged in the build-up to this autumn’s Rugby League World Cup 2013, hosted by England and Wales.
Reigning wheelchair world champions England will be hoping to regain the title they won in Australia in 2008. However, they will face tough competition from Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia and France, who are pre-tournament favourites having defeated England in a spectacular international at Medway Park last August which attracted the largest crowd in the sport’s history.
In the group stages, each team plays the other two teams drawn in their group plus one country from the opposing group.
The World Cup forms part of the Medway Festival of Sport, a three-month festival of more than 50 different participation and spectator events for all ages in 70 days. During the competition there will also be opportunities for people to experience wheelchair rugby league for themselves.
Wednesday July 3
England V France
Australia V Scotland
Wales V Ireland
Saturday July 6
England V Ireland
Australia V Wales
France V Scotland
Tuesday July 9
England V Wales
Australia V France
Scotland V Ireland
Thursday July 11: Semi Finals
Winner of Pool A V Runner Up Pool B
Winner of Pool B V Runner Up Pool A
Saturday July 13: World Cup Final
Wheelchair Rugby League mirrors Rugby League. Players use the same ball which must be passed backwards, have a six-tackle rule, have goal posts at each end of the court and can punt or volley the ball over the posts for a drop goal or conversion. The game can be played by disabled and non-disabled players.
FESTIVAL OF WORLD CUPS Media & PR team
Edited by League Express, 23 April 2013 - 11:28 AM.